"St. Bonaventure Mass" to premiere September 2017

Fabio Luisi

The premiere of Grammy Award-winner Fabio Luisi'St. Bonaventure Mass is a highly anticipated set of events scheduled for September 17 and 19, 2017. The world premiere fittingly takes place at St. Bonaventure University, within the liturgical Mass at the Campus Chapel. The musicians will then travel to New York for a very special New York premiere, performed at The Cloisters of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

 

 

 

 

The Story behind the St. Bonaventure Mass

Saint Bonaventure   
 Saint Bonaventure  

Luisi's new Mass commemorates the 800th anniversary of the birth of Saint Bonaventure of Bagnoregio, one of the most influential theologians of the Middle Ages. When approached three years ago by St. Bonaventure University about possibly composing a Mass, Luisi politely declined to enter into any financial negotiation.

“I will compose this Mass for God; I will not ask for any money,” Luisi told Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., then president of St. Bonaventure.

It is SDG's privilege to serve as the publisher for Luisi's new Mass, preparing the score for these historic premieres.

 

 

FABIO LUISI

Fabio Luisi
Fabio Luisi

Fabio Luisi, who was principal conductor of the Metropolitan Opera from 2011 until June 2017, is now the Music Director General of the Zurich Opera; the Music Director-designate of the Maggio Musicale di Fiorentino (Florence May Festival); and the Music Director-designate of the Royal Danish Orchestra. Luisi received a Grammy Award for his leadership of the last two operas of Der Ring des Nibelungen, when Deutsche Grammophon’s DVD release of the cycle, recorded live at the Met, was named Best Opera Recording of 2012. His extensive discography also features operas by Verdi, Salieri, and Bellini; symphonies by Honegger, Respighi, and Liszt; works by Franz Schmidt and Richard Strauss; and an award-winning account of Bruckner’s Ninth Symphony.

Luisi was named SDG Music Foundation’s Composer of the Month for July 2017.

 

SOLOISTS AND CONDUCTOR

Michelle Areygaza
Michelle Areygaza

Soprano Michelle Areyzaga is held in high regard by orchestras and opera companies throughout the United States and abroad. She has performed operatic roles with New York City Opera and has appeared in leading roles with Chicago Opera Theater, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s "Opera in the Neighborhoods" program, Opera Birmingham, Ravinia Festival, and Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de México. 

As an orchestral soloist, she has appeared with Cleveland Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Oregon Bach Festival, Richmond Symphony, Toledo Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Grant Park Music Festival, among others.

 

SeokJong Beak
SeokJong Beak

Baritone SeokJong Baek was a young artist in the 2016 "Prelude to Performance" program of the Martina Arroyo Foundation in New York when conductor Fabio Luisi first heard him perform. Born and raised in South Korea, Baek went to Canada to pursue his career, where he won first prize at Ontario's Peel Music Festival. Mr. Baek earned his undergraduate degree at Manhattan School of Music and is currently pursuing a master's degree under the tutelage of Ashley Putnam.

 

 

 

Michel Bell
Michel Bell

Recitant Michel Bell, is a Tony Award-nominee for his portrayal of "Joe" in Hal Prince’s production of Show Boat. He is especially known for his emotional portrayal of "Porgy" in Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, which he has performed on four continents.

Formerly a member of the pop vocal group Fifth Dimension, Bell has performed with the San Diego Opera, Michigan Opera, Opera Pacific, and Lyric Opera of Kansas City, as well as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Diego Symphony, Fresno Philharmonic, Berlin Radio Orchestra, and New York Philharmonic, and at the "America's Millennium" concert in 2000 on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

 

 

Catherine Matjeka
Catherine Matejka

Conductor Catherine Matejka has performed internationally as a piano soloist, accompanist, chamber musician, and conductor. She has been pianist and conductor on productions of Porgy and Bess throughout the United States, Japan, Germany, Norway, Egypt and Eritrea. She was also the Music Director and Conductor for the National Tour of the Harold Prince production of Show Boat, and conducted the Toronto, Chicago, and Broadway companies.

Ms. Matejka has served on the faculties of Clark University, University of Massachusetts, Franklin Pierce College, and Los Angeles Harbor College.

 

 

 

Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus
Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus

The Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus and Chamber Ensemble will join the soloists for both performances. The chorus, under the direction of Adam Luebke, is the primary choral partner of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year. The Buffalo News gives this fine ensemble "a big 'Bravo!" for its "splendid" work.

 

 

 

WORLD PREMIERE

Sunday, September 17, 2017
5:00 p.m.
St. Bonaventure University
St. Bonaventure, New York

Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus (Adam Luebke, Music Director)
Buffalo Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble
Michelle Areyzaka, soprano
SeokJong Baek, baritone
Michel Bell, recitant
Catherine Matejka, conductor

This event is free and open to the public. For further information, visit the St. Bonaventure University website.

 

NEW YORK CITY PREMIERE

Tuesday, September 19, 2017
5:30 p.m.
The Cloisters of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus (Adam Luebke, Music Director)
Buffalo Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble
Michelle Areyzaka, soprano
SeokJong Baek, baritone
Michel Bell, recitant
Catherine Matejka, conductor

Fuentiduena Chapel, The Cloisters  
Fuentidueña Chapel, The Cloisters  

Immediately following the World Premiere, the New York Premiere will be performed at The Cloisters of the Metropolitan Museum of Art on September 19, 2017. The Cloisters performance will be a truly special event, with the music of the Mass performed in the historic Fuentidueña Chapel by the same musicians that performed the world premiere.

The Fuentidueña Chapel at The Cloisters houses a twelfth-century Romanesque apse, originally part of the San Martín church at Fuentidueña in Segovia and re-created stone-by-stone in this historic chapel. 

 

Seating is very limited for this event; tickets ($65) are available through The Met Museum or by calling the Met Cloisters box office, 212-923-3700.

If you plan to attend either of these performances, SDG would be interested in knowing that you are coming. Please drop us an email or give us a call at 630-984-4300.

 

FUTURE PERFORMANCES

The Franciscan Church, Salzburg  
The Franciscan Church, Salzburg  

2018: Franziskanerkirche, Salzburg, Austria

The Franciscan Church, the oldest church in Austria, is renowned for its tradition of providing the best music at Mass in Salzburg.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carinthian Summer Music Festival  
 Carinthian Summer Music Festival  

2018: Carinthian Summer Music Festival, Ossiach Abbey, Austria
The Carinthian Summer music festival is ranked among the most important summer festivals in Austria today. Set on the shores of Lake Ossiach, it is renowned for the classical and new musical talent that it showcases.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicago skyline  
 Chicago skyline  

2018: Chicago
A Chicago premiere of Luisi’s Mass is in the planning stages for 2018.  Stay tuned for further information.